Monday, November 17, 2014

A Touch of Magic: Mette Meyer

                                   “Expression is everything to me.”
                                                                        -- Mette Meyer

Mette Meyer loves all animals. Growing up, she was more of a dog person: her first pet was a Newfoundland, who left her “with a love for gentle giants.” After that, the artist imported some of the first Leonbergers -- Mountain Dogs that are a cross between a Barry Dog, a Landseer Newfoundland, and a Great Pyrenees -- from Germany to her home in Norway. She even had a kennel prefix and bred several litters. 

When the last of her Leonbergers died of old age, Meyer took a break and began traveling around the world. But the animals weren’t done with her. Somewhere a cat was waiting…and in 1998, a simple unpretentious moggy came into her life and made all the difference, opening her up to a love of all things feline. Ten years later, she got her first purebred, a Ragdoll named Brutus; he was followed by Charlie and Bounty, two silver-shaded or black-tipped British Shorthairs. “I do not breed,” she says. “They are pets only, but I love shows. All the boys have done well at shows.”

Somewhere along the way, Meyer’s love of animals merged with her art. Two-and-a-half years ago, she began doing portraits of them, using photos as a basis for her work. “It started as a hobby, as an experiment,” she recalls. The hobby soon became a passion, and she began doing commissioned portraits, “making all the personalized backgrounds and layers.” The resulting portraits are both very life-like and very soft and impressionistic. They look as though they’ve been painted by hand.

“I have not been influenced by anyone, not copied anyone,” Meyer tells me. “Whatever I have made is home-made. However, I need photos and must admit I have done quite a bit of ‘catnapping’ on Facebook….I have an inner need or urge to make them. Not one day will pass that I will not make a picture when seeing a photo of a cute cat.” But she hasn’t forgotten her first love – dogs – and they figure in her work as well.

Meyer also does abstract and scenic pictures, the latter based on “photos taken on holidays. Not tourist attractions – more like a narrow street in an idyllic village in, let’s say, France.”

Still, the cats are what call to her. She always gets “stunned” by their beauty; as she works, she finds herself thinking about the best way to preserve that beauty.

The response to these portraits has been overwhelming: Animal Art, her Facebook page, has garnered close to 400 followers, and quite a few of them have commissioned work from her. Some of them have even become repeat customers.

“I think I have found my niche,” Meyer says happily. “I have a dream to do this for a living. It is what I love to do, and I do not do it lightly. It’s all about making a pretty cat even a little more beautiful, adding a little touch of Magic. I think I can say that I have developed my own style.”


Related link:
-- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Animal-Art/385874524794364?fref=photo



                                                              -

9 comments:

Gwynn Rogers said...

I definitely LOVED the pictures of the cats that Meyer paints. She absolutely makes the cats look life-like!

What a fun post. Thanks!

Gwynn Rogers said...

Holy Smokes, I just looked up the Leonberger... I WANT one!! What a gorgeous dog!! I hope Meyer has drawn pictures of her dogs too. They are just a "slightly" larger version of her cats! ;-)

Thanks for the info... GREAT fun!

T. J. Banks said...

Thanks, Gwynn. Yes, Mette definitely has a gift. I especially love the way she brings out their eyes in her work.

T. J. Banks said...

There's something about the Mountain Dogs, isn't there, Gwynn? Me, I've always been a Bernese woman myself.

Laura said...

Mette's artwork is beautiful. I can vouch, first hand, because the second rendering is my gorgeous Somali, Aria, when she was a kitten. Mette took a normal photo that my daughter took and turned it in to a piece of art. She takes great pride in her work and her prices are extremely reasonable.

Laura said...

Mette's artwork is beautiful. I can vouch, first hand, because the second rendering is my gorgeous Somali, Aria, when she was a kitten. Mette took a normal photo that my daughter took and turned it in to a piece of art. She takes great pride in her work and her prices are extremely reasonable.

T. J. Banks said...

Good to know the story behind the picture, Laura! And I agree 100% -- Mette DOES turn a simple photo into a work of art. It's uncanny.

Anonymous said...

She really does capture that special quality,the inner spirit of the animal. And always the eyes ...indeed are the "window of the soul". Trite but true. Visit here page and enjoy her abstract and scenic works, each has its own mood

T. J. Banks said...

Well said. The eyes really are the focus of her work...they capture and hold you.